As a photographer, I’ve experienced hundreds of weddings. I’ve seen some of the most astounding celebrations the world has to offer and, unfortunately, some of the most panicked brides when something went wrong.
The truth is that there is always a chance something is forgotten or someone is late, but there are plenty of ways to ensure those oopsies are fixed swiftly and the party continues smoothly. So, here are my top 10 tips for brides to ensure the best possible wedding day.
- Create a packing list
Nothing is worse than the sinking sensation of forgetting the most important thing on the biggest day of your life. Sure, mistakes happen and there’s always room for creative solutions, so if something is forgotten, don’t freak out! But let’s try to avoid those last minute scrambles as much as possible.
At least two weeks before your big day, sit down and intentionally creating a packing list of all the things you don’t want to forget, like your flat lay supplies, your overnight bag, and your wedding bands. Then, run through the list with your spouse-to-be, parents and anyone else who may catch something you’ve missed. Then, you can go into the best weeks of your life with confidence!
- Plan in some breaks
As your building your day-of timeline, be sure to schedule in some time between each activity for you to just…breathe. This way, you can savor the most beautiful moments of your day without feeling like you need to cut things short so you can rush off to the next thing. It also gives a little mercy room in case something runs long or a rogue groomsmen is running late.
- Prep an emergency kit
At least a week before your wedding day, build a kit full of emergency supplies in case something should go wrong. With a kit full of items like a sewing kit, bandaids, stain remover and Tylenol, something like a busted zipper or cut finger doesn’t have to be a tragedy. And everything from the snacks you munch to the colourful berries on the boutonnieres can be dangerous to formal clothing, so keep the stain remover on standby!
- Delegate in advance
Whether it’s to a bridesmaid or your mom, a wedding planner or your BFF, choose someone well ahead of time to do the important jobs you’ll definitely be too busy to handle. Things like passing out the vendor tips, moving the cards and gifts to a safe place and passing out the items for your planned exit are tasks you shouldn’t have to worry about on your wedding day. So, make sure you choose someone in advance to take care of them for you.
- Ignore outside opinions
If there’s one thing I want to beg you not to do on your wedding day, it’s asking the question, “So, what do you think?” Who. Cares! This is your wedding day, and as long as you are enjoying yourself, the opinions of guests, family and even parents don’t matter. People will always have tweaks and changes they would have made were it their big day…but it’s not. So stay focused on having the time of YOUR life, and leave the opinions of others out of it. And if unsolicited advice is offered, listen politely, respond that you will take it into consideration and let it float out of your head and quickly as possible.
- Eat, eat, eat!
Between the nerves, the intense wedding gown and all the hustle and bustle, it will be easy to forget to eat on your wedding day. But, believe me, nothing cramps the style of a wedding day faster than the bride passing out cold on the dance floor mid-Macarena. Make sure you eat at every opportunity, drink plenty of water and even ask your maid of honor or mom to keep some Chex Mix handy if you need to grab a quick handful on your way to the ceremony venue. Do what you need to do to keep your energy and health up.
- Embrace your moment
The big trip down the aisle can be an intimidating one for brides, especially if you’re shy, but you are going to be amazed how quickly it flies by. So, before you take that first step down the aisle, take a quick breath, hold your head high and keep your eyes on the love of your life waiting for you at the end. Try to remember this moment, because it really is once in a lifetime.
- Treasure intimate family time
The saying “family is everything” is definitely something we wholeheartedly believe at Stephanie Mason Photography & Co. So, it wouldn’t be a tip list from us without a little encouragement to include family members in every possible moment of your big day. We promise it will make a special day even more special.
So, invite your mom and future mother-in-law to get ready with you and your bridesmaids. Plan a first look with your dad and write him a letter of gratitude for walking by your side on your wedding day. Plan a sibling dance for the reception. Your wedding day is just as special as your family as it is for you, and they will treasure every chance you give them to celebrate with you.
- Focus on your love
Even though you are throwing this shindig, it’s not your responsibility to keep the party going or hold lengthy chats with each guest in attendance. The most important person for you to focus on throughout your wedding day is your brand new life partner. And if that means spending a little less time on guests, so be it.
- Take in the view
I can’t express enough how magical it is to step away from your own reception and watch the party happening in your honor. The joy of witnessing your closest family and friends come together to celebrate your love is like nothing else in the whole world. So don’t forget to step away — hand in hand with your new spouse — and savor the gratitude, joy and overwhelming love you feel on the happiest day of your life.